Friday, December 14, 2012

Apple and Pear French Tart with the most silky delicious Lemon Curd

I'm almost embarrassed to post this recipe because it's so ridiculously easy to make! But then again, it was just too good to not share! You can choose to leave the Lemon Curd out if you wish, I added it because I have a jar of homemade Lemon Curd in my pantry at all times. Of Course! However, this tart is perfectly delicious even without it. The delicate buttery puff pastry is the perfect vehicle to carry these sweet and tart slices of Apples and Pears and the hint of Sugar gives this dessert the perfect accent!

I used Apples and Pears, but you can actually use pretty much any fruit, preferably ones you can slice and layer, so they cook evenly AND look pretty. And of course they'll taste delicious, coz let's face it, all my recipes do! ;)

Lemon Curd
2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (either Meyers or regular lemons)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature

1. Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
2. Remove from the heat.Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.  Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl.  Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours.

Pastry1 sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry Sheet (What? Did you think I was going to make this from scratch!?)
1 Large Apple (I choose Red Delicious as they paired well with the slight tartness of Pears)
1 Large Pear
1/4 cup of cold Cutter (cut into small dime sized pieces)
2 tbsp Sugar

1. Thaw the Puff Pastry sheet so it's pliable. On a well floured surface, roll out the sheet with a rolling pin, until it's about 1/4 inch in thickness. Transfer to a greased baking tray.
2. Peal and core the apple and slice into 1/2 thick slices. Do the same with the pears. Now layer the fruit slices in a pretty pattern, alternating a couple of slices of apples and then a couple slices of pear.
3. Sprinkle the sugar over the entire prepared tart and finally dot the pieces of butter evenly across the tart.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the puff pastry is cooked and has a beautiful golden brown color.

Remove the tray and let it cool. Once cooled, drizzle the lemon curd on top, cut into squares and serve!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Spiced Honey and Fig Cookie!

I love Figs. And Christmas. And Holiday Spice and Cheer! So when I thought of all my favorite things, naturally I began working on putting them all together! Hence was born The Holiday Spiced Honey and Fig Cookie!

This cookie is soft, chewy, spicy and sweet and the Figs add such a deliciously naughty texture to it that you will definitely go back for seconds. The scent of Cinnamon and Nutmeg will convert even those that non-believers in Santa and the red nosed reindeer, into lovers of Christmas and all things  ho-ho-ho!!

An extremely simple and quick recipe that goes perfect with a glass of ice cold milk! I used dired Figs for this recipe, because, well, fresh Figs aren't in season anymore...which is on my list of things to complain to Santa about!

1/4 cup of Butter
3/4 cup of Honey
1 3/4 cups of Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg and Clove
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup dried Figs (hydrate these in warm water and chop into small pieces)
2 Eggs

How to:
1. Heat the Butter and Honey in a saucepan until Butter has melted. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs. Next, add the Butter and Honey mixture (make sure it's cool, you don't want to curdle the eggs!).
4. Now add in the dry ingredients and finally fold in the chopped Figs.
5. Using a cookie scoop, layer the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes.

Remove and let it cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy. That is all.